There has always been a "Language for non-Unicode programs" settings in the "Region and Language" settings in XP, Vista and 7.

I installed Windows 8 (had some unrelated problems, so I had to revert to Windows 7 though), and I tried installing a piece of software that was not made with Unicode, but Shift-JIS (Japanese). The installer obviously shows incorrect glyphs, and the installer is unusable.

So I tried changing the "Language for non-Unicode programs" setting, but I noticed that the entire language applet was rebuilt from scratch.

As I reverted to Windows 7, I can't tinker with it until I solve the other problems and can get to install 8 again. But in the meantime, does anybody know where can I change this setting?


Windows 7's Region and Language has been split up in Windows 8 to separate Region and Language Control Panel applets.

  1. Go to Control Panel (the desktop version)

  2. Clock, Language, and Region

  3. Region

  4. Click on the Administrative tab on the top

  5. Under Language for non-Unicode programs, select the button Change system locale, then select Japanese or whichever Asian display language you would like

  6. Restart your computer

The Japanese characters should display fine now.

Windows 7 Region and Language Applet

Windows 8 Language Applet

  • 7
    Would be nice if we change the language of a particular application! I have applications that are in different languages. – Aero Windwalker Jan 31 '15 at 21:36
  • @AeroWindwalker See my answer. – Small Boy Jan 23 '17 at 2:07

Also there are tools to change locale for a single application:

  1. Locale Emulator.

  2. Ntleas.

  3. Micosoft AppLocale Wizard, which is not updated for a decade, and even not hosted for a few years so no one can find a copy of it, but it seems still some people utilize it through compatibility troubleshooter, or through this more complex approach.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.